Climategate, deja vu and the fork in the road.
Michael E. Mann, who directs the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, said in a telephone interview from Paris that skeptics are “taking these words totally out of context to make something trivial appear nefarious.”
Michael Mann, if you recall, is the one responsible for the nefarious and controversial hockey stick graph. Of course, global warming alarmist try to discredit the very real evidence against the graph by attaching the word “myth” to the argument, while simultaneously refusing to address the complaints of skeptics. I like to refer to it as, “The Art of Stigma“. If you can attach a stigma to any issue you can avoid debate and stifle the voices of your detractors. It’s like using the race card.
In a New York Times article Mann is quoted, once again, trying to downplay the relevance of the breach.
In a 1999 e-mail exchange about charts showing climate patterns over the last two millenniums, Phil Jones, a longtime climate researcher at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, said he had used a “trick” employed by another scientist, Michael Mann, to “hide the decline” in temperatures.
Dr. Mann, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, confirmed in an interview that the e-mail message was real. He said the choice of words by his colleague was poor but noted that scientists often used the word “trick” to refer to a good way to solve a problem, “and not something secret.”
Well I guess that would hinge on what is meant by, “solving a problem”. If by solving a problem he means correcting errant data then fine, but he doesn’t have a great track regarding that. I believe he meant solving the problem of embarrassing data as opposed to errant data. It is a sentiment shared in some of the hacked e-mails. Remember this part?
Private doubts about whether the world really is heating up:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.
Suppression of evidence:
Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
Sound familiar? That aside, I suppose CRU’s statement to, “assure this never happens again” is all about openness and transparency. Clearly not secretive. Yeah, I’ve seen this movie somewhere and I know how it ends.
The Times article continues with Mann’s defense of Voodoo science:
At issue were sets of data, both employed in two studies. One data set showed long-term temperature effects on tree rings; the other, thermometer readings for the past 100 years.
Through the last century, tree rings and thermometers show a consistent rise in temperature until 1960, when some tree rings, for unknown reasons, no longer show that rise, while the thermometers continue to do so until the present.
Dr. Mann explained that the reliability of the tree-ring data was called into question, so they were no longer used to track temperature fluctuations. But he said dropping the use of the tree rings was never something that was hidden, and had been in the scientific literature for more than a decade. “It sounds incriminating, but when you look at what you’re talking about, there’s nothing there,” Dr. Mann said.
In addition, other independent but indirect measurements of temperature fluctuations in the studies broadly agreed with the thermometer data showing rising temperatures.
Dr. Jones, writing in an e-mail message, declined to be interviewed.
This is a prime example of the scientists using only the data that supports their theories and refusing to acknowledge, even going so far as to hide, data that does not. Mann admits it in this article, but tries to trivialize the significance of engaging in censorship science.
More denial of reality:
Stephen McIntyre, a blogger who on his Web site, climateaudit.org, has for years been challenging data used to chart climate patterns, and who came in for heated criticism in some e-mail messages, called the revelations “quite breathtaking.”
But several scientists whose names appear in the e-mail messages said they merely revealed that scientists were human, and did nothing to undercut the body of research on global warming. “Science doesn’t work because we’re all nice,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a climatologist at NASA whose e-mail exchanges with colleagues over a variety of climate studies were in the cache. “Newton may have been an ass, but the theory of gravity still works.”
Gavin Schmidt just tried to detract from this event by proclaiming that not all scientists are nice guys. This goes back to what I said about “refusing to address the complaints of other skeptics”. In no way does the attitude of scientists diminish the content of these e-mails.
You see, Gavin, the difference between you and Newton is his theories are sound and beyond reproach. They can be demonstrated easily and are proven by reality. His theories are simple and to the point, not a duct taped patchwork of uncorrelated graph data, woven together by editing out that which is inconvenient. Skeptics want you to prove them wrong. Skeptics are skeptical because they desire real unaltered knowledge. They are a fickle bunch. They see a problem — an inconsistency — and they want it solved, not swept under the rug.
All this reminds me of a few historical figures I learned about in my school days. Several men over the centuries dared to question accepted science. They were often chastised and ridiculed for their beliefs. Some were killed for it, others were exonerated, though only long after their deaths. They were brave men who dared say man was not the center of everything. They had the gall to believe that there are things in this existence that are far larger than humanity. Things that lend no compassion nor contempt to pitiful little creatures like us. You see men like Copernicus, Galileo and Bruno dared stand against the might of the Vatican. They are born only once a generation and have the capacity to see issues, not as scientists, but as realists — as skeptics.
So here we are, full circle, poised to repeat history. We have our own Galileos and Brunos, threatened with violence for having the nerve to question accepted science of our new religion — the boldness to act contrary to the mandated narrative our New York Vatican has imposed with their elite group of Cardinals. And yet again, we have those who believe humans are the center of the universe and that whatever happens, human were the only reason for it. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess.
In the end, we are faced with a simple choice. Will we continue to make the same mistakes of our past or will we choose to heed the lessons of our predecessors?